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    Joined: Apr 2017
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    I'm at a loss as to what I can or should do for my son at this point, if anything.

    I didn't realize I'd posted here years ago so I guess I'll give some follow up details. 11yo M, 5th grade.

    Test #1: He scored 152 composite on his CogAT (132 V, 148 Q, 151 NV)
    Test #2: We live in a high-SES, highly educated area. His local percentiles for Terranova reading and math respectively were 58.5, 82.7. (National percentiles 88.7, 97.9.)

    Other exceptionalities: Diagnosed ADHD and currently on guanfacine but no stimulant. Sensory processing and ARFID. Anxiety and panic disorder. Then a major physical disability, spina bifida.

    My son is a perfectly adequate student, getting 3s (average) and 4s (exceeds expectations), mostly in math. Occasional 2.5. He sees a therapist and psychiatrist for management of mental and behavioral health diagnoses. He's got a lot against him, even as he's obviously very bright. I pulled him out of the gifted program at school for a couple reasons, but mainly that it seemed to be a source of anxiety rather than support to him.

    The discrepancies between his two tests have me wondering if I'm just... missing something? A learning disability? Is this just how it goes with 2e kids? I'm wondering if the rest of his education is just going to be keeping his head above water with regards to his mental health and he's going to have to lean on his intelligence as more of a crutch than a gift.

    He qualifies for exactly nothing in our district beyond the pull-out program that was a bummer. I've been homeschooling him in math to help him be challenged but that's all I have the energy for given everything else.

    Other parents who have been in similar situations, what should my mindset be? Thanks in advance.

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    astronomama,

    Busy couple of weeks over here, so I'll be back with more detail in a bit, if no one else clears up this point for you to your satisfaction before then...but quick version: the difference between his cognitive and achievement measures is probably not actually statistically significant, or if it is, not as dramatically so as it might appear (see regression to the mean). So not yet cause for panic...That's a different question from whether his needs are being met in school, of course.


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    So here's a little more detail:

    The correlation between cognitive and achievement instruments is typically between about .5 and .6, so as a ballpark, we would expect a composite of 152 to generate an achievement measure of about 130ish--and that happens to be almost exactly what his math measure is. In his case, there's a pretty marked difference between his verbal cognition and his nonverbal/quantitative cognitive measures, which suggests that he might have a nonverbal/mathematical preference (not that 132 is exactly low!). So while the 89th %ile score he has in reading is toward the periphery of the standard error range for his global cognition, it's pretty much a perfect match for his verbal score on the CogAT.

    You may be wondering why I'm using the national percentiles and not the local percentiles, which look much more divergent. That's because the CogAT numbers you posted are almost certainly national numbers, so I'm just comparing apples to apples. It appears that your district is particularly high achieving, given that the average student is about a standard deviation above the national average, which may be clouding the picture when you consider your own child's profile.

    In short: I would not worry at this moment about an unidentified learning disability. A tilted profile at this level of global strength is not necessarily a disability, and he is objectively ahead normatively in every assessed area (vs the general population, not your local pocket of brilliance). I think afterschooling in math is plenty. You are monitoring his progress and making decisions based on his overall development, health and happiness. That is all any of us can do. Take a deep breath, mama, you are doing fine!


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